According to the Web site wordorigins.org, “Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle – to cut a hole in – and butt – a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor.”

Fisheries council reverses scallop decision

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The New England Fisheries Management Council has voted to reverse its controversial November decision on scallop regulations, according to a Jan. 27 press release from the Project to Save Seafood and Ocean Resources.

The press release said the NEFMC took the action after considering opinions expressed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and other elected officials from that state, 15 other members of Congress, and more than 1,000 industry members and others.

Lobster regulators consider reduced workweek

AUGUSTA — The Lobster Advisory Council of the Maine Department of Marine Resources is considering a referendum in Maine’s seven lobster zones to shorten the lobstering workweek by adding either a one-day closure or ending the fishing day at 4 p.m. DMR’s advisory council will meet Feb. 17 to decide on a double-tagging rule for zones B and C. DMR Resource Management Coordinator Sara Cotnoir said Wednesday that fishermen in Zone B have expressed concerns that some Zone C lobstermen are fishing more than the allowed 49 percent of their traps in Zone B.

Lobstermen’s association sets annual meeting date

KENNEBUNK — The 2010 Maine Lobstermen’s Association Annual Meeting will be held during the Maine Fishermen’s Forum on Friday, March 5 at 9 a.m. at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. MLA members will elect officers and vote on amendments to the bylaws. For more information visit mainelobstermen.org or call 967-4555.

Circumnavigation is topic of Atlantic Challenge lecture

ROCKLAND — Atlantic Challenge announced that the next lecture in the Apprenticeshop lecture series will be “On the Shoulders of a Gale: Global Circumnavigation on a 62-foot Schooner.”

U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master Mariner Capt. Frank Blair will recap the experience of his around-the-globe sailing expedition on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. as part of Atlantic Challenge’s Second Thursdays at the Apprenticeshop lecture series.

The lecture is a benefit for Atlantic Challenge, located at 643 Main St. in Rockland. Tickets are $5 at the door. A tour of current projects in the Apprenticeshop will be available after the lecture. For more information visit atlanticchallenge.com.

Maine Maritime sponsors ocean studies lecture series

CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy’s Corning School of Ocean Studies will sponsor a Spring 2010 Seminar Series. Lectures will be held at 3 p.m. in the Class of 1954 Lecture Hall, located in the lower level of the Harold Alfond Student Center on the college’s main campus. Lectures are free and open to the public.

“Lobster research programs at the Maine Department of Marine Resources” by Kathleen Reardon of the Maine DMR will be held Monday, Jan. 25.

Rick Woychik, president and chief executive officer of Jackson Laboratory, will discuss the science behind the era of personalized medicine on Monday, Feb. 1.

Emmanuel Boss of the University of Maine will discuss insights into the workings of the ocean obtained using optical sensors on autonomous floats on Monday, Feb. 15.

“An introduction to phylogenetic methods and how these can be used to study macroevolutionary patterns in the fossil record” by Wes Gapp of the University of Kansas will be held Monday, Feb. 22.

“Ocean microbes — huge diversity, critical global functions” by Mike Sieracki of Bigelow Laboratory will be held Monday, March 8.

“Saco River Coastal Observing System: Misadventures in the coastal ocean” by Charles Tilburg of the University of New England will be held Monday, March 15.

For more information visit mainemaritime.edu.

Lobster Institute plans town meeting

ORONO — A Canadian/U.S. Lobstermen’s Town Meeting will be held March 26 and March 27 at the Regency Hotel in Portland.

The two-day event will focus on steps to secure the economic future of the lobster industry and will include discussions on trade and tariff issues, certification, the role of co-ops, and value-added products. For more information visit lobsterinstitute.org.

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.